Defined By Detail Series: Allan Buxton

Words The Studio

To celebrate the launch of the 265MM Jewellery Wallet we partnered with talented creative, Allan Buxton, to make a conceptual animation entitled ‘Reversing Entropy’.

The animation is set in a chaotic world, where pieces from the AO collection are restlessly trying to find a place to settle. As the narrative of the animation evolves, we watch the creation of the Wallet from initial concept to the final product. 

We had a chat with Allan in his Nottingham studio and asked about the production of the animation and his involvement in the project.

Where did your interest in stop-motion animation start? Was there something that you saw that kick-started it all for you?
Although I didn’t realise it for many years, my original inspiration had to have been Jan Švankmajer’s “Alice” which I watched on repeat as a child. I accidentally rediscovered his stop motion work while researching a project at university and it instantly resonated. I’d been studying graphic design for two years and something hadn’t felt right about working purely digitally, there was a lack of human error and honesty to the process. I also had an innate drive to build and manipulate physical objects, so stop motion quickly became a perfect remedy. Everything clicked at that point and ten years on it still feels right.


What do you find particularly challenging when creating your stop-motion animations?
Consistently the biggest challenge during a shoot is keeping focus and memory. Animating any more than 3 or 4 objects at a time becomes incredibly hard. You end up having to hold a lot of information in memory while at the same time visualising the whole scene and how each object would move/interact under natural physical laws. At these points during filming, a fly in the room could be enough to lose track completely. Combine that with an accidental nudge of the tripod and you’re back at square one. Time for a coffee.


How did the concept of ‘Reversing Entropy’ come about?
The concept kind of popped up after working on and visualising the narrative. We knew the jewellery had to end up in the case, so naturally, it had to be loose/free before that. The case was the bringer of order, fighting against entropy hence, the title emerged. There’s something fitting about the technique here too, some shots were filmed in reverse which literally flips time and stop-motion essentially does break the laws of physics even if only as an illusion. Deep.

This is our first product using leather, how did you find using the leather in the making of the film?

Using leather to animate was a first for me too and it was surprisingly suited to the process. It was very thick and dense which allowed it to stay in position when opening the case frame by frame. Brushing that orange suede for hours and leaving tracks with the moving props was mesmerising too. As a bonus the colour quality and textures translated so well through the lens there was actually no need to even edit the close-ups which is a first!


Is there a part of the ‘Reversing Entropy’ animation that you are particularly proud of?

It has to be the very subtle movement of the pendant as the concrete block stops on the first scene. It would have been easy to over-exaggerate this but as it happened the friction against the block allowed for extreme minute movements of the pendant. Very satisfying.

Do you have a favourite Alex Orso design?

The Komodo claw pendant. It was a great actor, I swear it knew the script! Also, because it’s a beautiful polygon that you can actually hold in real life.